Disclaimer: ANYTHING THAT IS NOT MINE (EXCEPT THE STORY), IS NOT AND WILL NEVER BE MINE.
Author's Note: This is a short, three-chapter story that suddenly popped into my mind while listening to FFXIII's "Defiers of Fate". I am well aware that I have not updated my other stories for the longest time now, And I've decided to at least start reclaiming my responsibilities as a writer by practicing how to be responsible enough by sort of practicing on this story. Also, I'm dedicating this story to my friend MonMonCandie. This is my apology story for not being able to read and review her stories lately, and for not being able to keep in touch. I have been very busy, with life and school, and I only did my best to find some time to write this story just so I could do it for her. Again, I'm sorry, and I promise to read her latest chapters and stories as soon as I find the time to surf the internet.
It was like the war of the worlds—the whole place was in chaos. The central park they believed to be the safest haven became the crash site of a fallen bridge from the east of the city. Said bridge was supposed to bring the residents to safety, until a big ship fired missiles at it, leaving people trapped in the forsaken place and costing some of their lives. As for those who survived the attack, they retreated to the other side of the city in hope of reaching a place that could spare their lives. Only a stupid few would choose to move forward. And if they do, it would be for a different purpose that goes beyond survival… something that is worth their lives.
People were yelling upsetting words, and some were screaming their desperation out. A very handful some tried to lead the pushing crowd by shouting orders, but their words were drowned in the people's cries of panic and hopelessness.
"MOVE ASIDE!" A male youth with short blond hair yelled with as much force as he could muster. But his words fell on deaf ears. He shouted again and again as he shoved people away with all his remaining strength. But the crowd was going the other way, and he simply could not squeeze himself and his friends through them.
"Ignis!" Another young man with a bulkier built cried out against the noise while looking back to his friend who was wearing a pair of glasses. "Ignis! Hold on to Noctis! Don't let go!"
Ignis was silently shielding another male youth with his whole body, holding his shoulders as they pushed through. His eyes shifted only between the man he was securely protecting against the crowd and what was ahead of him. He felt his back nearly aching from all the bumping and pushing done by the agitated swarm of people behind him, but he never bothered looking back. He just wanted him and Noctis to stay close to his bulky and blond friends.
Noctis, on the other hand, was doing the best he could to help his friends pass through. With his strong arms, he pushed people aside, elbowed them, or rammed their faces with his palm just to get them out of their way. Not helpful given the dire situation, but none of his friends complained. They adamantly went on their way.
Down below from where they were, somewhere around the central park, was where she was walking at the same direction where the collapsed bridge was. Barely surviving the crash and the explosions of the missiles hours ago, she obliged her feet to outlive the chaos and carry on. No crowd flowing at the opposite direction was stopping her this time, but the large rubbles of what was left of the bridge, and her fear that could not seem to fight.
She was wandering aimlessly and frantically for help. She was far too small and far too young to survive amidst it all, and she was alone. She was in a fragile condition, completely helpless and breakable. But she couldn't give up, not until she finds her big brother.
Fighting against the loud sounds of chaos were her soft sobs she wished to be heard. Gripping tightly on the soft dog plushie, she looked around anxiously with wide purple eyes for any sign of her older sibling.
And then, a soft familiar voice from a girl she knew.
"Seven?" the voice said. "Is that you?"
Seven, the little girl, turned to the owner of the voice that called her name.
"Stella!" she ran to the young woman, almost crashing herself to her when she tried to capture her in a small embrace. Tears that she was trying to wrestle with finally escaped her eyes.
"Shh… shh.." Stella gently hushed the little girl as she knelt down in front of her and pulled her into a tighter hug. "It's okay. It's okay now." She then slowly pulled herself away and took a good look at Seven. "What are you doing here? Where is your brother?"
Seven quickly brushed her eyes with her arm and shook her head. "I don't know! He left me alone back at home. He said he'll come back. Then there was an explosion. And I followed him. And I never saw him again!"
Pain stroke Stella and she pulled Seven again in tight hug. "I… I see." was all she could mutter. "It's okay now…" She assured while brushing Seven's back gently. "We'll find your big brother. Just stay close to me."
Suddenly, a faint sound of siren started to echo from the distance, and white spotlights were flashed from above, scanning the whole area in circles.
Stella, alarmed by these, quickly looked around before finally standing up. She took Seven's hand securely in hers.
"I want you to run as fast as you can. And stay really close to me. Okay?"
Noctis felt like a schoolteacher calling roll calls on a school trip.
"Gladiolus?" He called to his bulky friend, who was presently stretching his arms by pulling the metal ledge left by the broken bridge. He nodded at Noctis. "I'm okay."
"Prompto?" Noctis called to the blond youth. He was a peculiar one, doing his ritual squats. "Prompto, what are you doing?"
"I'm loosing up the blood flow in my system." Prompto replied. "Been standing for too long made me go stiff."
Noctis blinked in disbelief before turning to Ignis and patting his back. Ignis groaned in response. "Ah. Apologies."
"None. Taken." Ignis said sternly. He was counting from ten under his breath before he bent his back backwards. There was that successful sound of clicking bones, accompanied by his scream of pain.
"Don't be a sissy now." Noctis said nonchalantly.
"Easy for you to say. You never experienced any of this everyday pains of mine, your Majesty." Prompto retorted.
Ignoring his friends, Noctis walked at the broken edge of the halved bridge, staring at the huge metal monument that invaded their city which stood a hundred miles away from where they were. It was surrounded by hundreds of flying ships, securely monitoring the whole area.
"So," Gladiolus walked beside Noctis, nodding at the scenery. "Where should we start?"
"Right there." Noctis replied, his eyes still transfixed at the monument. "I know she should be there. We should reach it and search for her inside. That's our angle."
"Isn't that a little impossible?" Prompto asked in doubt while scratching his head.
"We've escaped the palace, fought against the huge crowd, and got ourselves into safety without being caught yet." Noctis replied. "Everything we've done was already impossible."
"But first, we need to find a way to get there more quickly." Ignis remarked.
"Well, any mode of transportation will do. I'm sure we'll find one lying around here somewhere." Gladiolus replied. "I just wish we don't run out of luck for the rest of the way."
Prompto approached Noctis' side and looked at the stiff image of the scenery. People were still running away, screaming, and large armed ships were still flying above the sunless sky. "My, my. All this for a stray summoner."
Noctis' eyes narrowed. "Come. Time's not to be wasted." He jumped from the edge and landed safely on the ground thirty feet below them. Prompto looked at Ignis and shrugged before jumping after Noctis. The rest quickly followed.
Noctis looked around, scanning the area for any sign of presence. But the whole place was evidently deserted. He turned around at the three.
"We have to split up."
Ignis shook his head. "Bad idea. You are not to be left alone."
"We have to if we wanted to make this fast. We're running out of time and we can't lose our chance." Noctis replied.
"I agree." Gladiolus nodded. "I think we can handle ourselves pretty well."
Prompto patted his bags on both sides of his hips. "As long as I got these babies, it should be just a breeze."
Ignis sighed and massaged his nosebridge, shaking his head in disapproval. He looked up, diverting his eyes from his friends to find any hopeful answers before finally giving up. "Fine. What's your plan now?"
"We split up, take different possible routes of the city to get to the Fal'cie." Noctis replied. "If we're lucky, she might not have reached the Fal'cie yet. She might still be around. First one to get to the Fal'cie contacts everyone else for any reports. All of us will meet at the Fal'cie. It will be our last resort to find her."
"I'll take South!" Prompto exclaimed and began to run before anyone could even reply.
"I'll take the North side." Ignis calmly said as he began to scram away.
Noctis wordlessly run on his way, leaving Gladiolus with only one choice.
"I guess I'll take West." And he ran as well.
He bumped into a police or two, and he was pretty sure he ran into a clerk that worked back at his home. Noctis would have been spotted immediately, considering his highly precious life. But that was not the case this time. The ruckus and the chaos overshadowed everything else but everyone's despairing escape to safety.
He searched over the passing people, and he searched well for her. For several times he would be fooled by people who donned long, golden blonde hair, but in an instant that she saw their faces, he knew none of them was her. Regardless, he kept on searching for her anywhere he went as he head straight to the Fal'cie.
Noctis finally reached a street, a place he knew very well, one that he kept safely in his memories. It was the place where they first dated. He was too shy back then, eager to hold her hand, but too scared to do it, until she grabbed his and lead him to a garage sale full of antique novelty items. It was the first time he blushed in years.
He strolled slowly, somehow hoping that she might be near. Albeit a deserted place, he looked around, passing by an electronic store.
"The city is falling into pieces as the search for the summoner goes on." The reporter on the television said from the store's glass window. "The presence of the Fal'cie continues to shake the residents and patrols were dispatched to capture the alleged threat to the people. It was reported this afternoon that the summoner was last spotted on a bridge at the central park where airships launches missiles to stop the summoner from doing any harm before it could."
Noctis' eyes avoided the screen while his ears kept on listening. His fists tightened on his sides.
"The high Fal'cie is letting everyone know that there is nothing to be scared of, and is doing everything it could to protect the lives of the people, which is presently at stake until the summoner is caught for good."
Stella and Seven were still running; as fast as they could, and as stealthy as they came.
The older one was leading Seven to several walls and alleys, dodging the eyes of the patrolling groups of soldiers for each area they were in. And when they were finally hidden, Stella would carefully survey the area and plan where they would head next.
"Stella?" Seven called in a soft whisper. Stella turned around to look at her in response. "What is going on?"
Stella's face softened in a sad expression. "They're looking for a summoner. She seemed to have been spotted around here in the city."
"Why are they looking for the summoner like this? Can't they just search the city without blowing the place up?"
"Well," Stella kneeled beside the little Seven. "They think the summoner is dangerous. Any move a summoner does is always a threat to everyone." She said with a sad smile.
"Why?" Seven asked innocently.
Stella sighed. Of course, why would she even expect for someone like Seven to understand what she was talking about. How could she possibly know that a summoner was supposed to be someone perilous? It wasn't even taught to her school yet, and how could she even understand what it was all about. She was only six years old and extremely pampered, barely comprehending why there was even such a thing as a "threat". Then again, they were already in a dire situation caused by the said "threat" and it was about time Seven should know all about it.
Stella inhaled deeply. "Okay. I'll tell you about it." For the last time, she looked around to check if their spot was still safe. When she was completely assured, she turned back to Seven. "Everyone thinks that summoners are dangerous because of what happened before during the war of summoners. A thousand years ago, large machines called 'machinas' attacked the city almost destroying it completely. But the summoners stood up against the machinas and defended the city with borrowed powers from powerful spiritual beings called the aeons. But they were only humans, and their strength against the machines was not enough. In their last act for hope, they merged their powers together and finally created a very powerful aeon they called 'Sin'. He was so powerful he was able to destroy all the machinas in just one strike. However, soon after, Sin had gone berserk and started to target the city, wasting so many lives. After so much struggle to stop Sin, the summoners realized that the only way was to dismiss him from his duty."
"What does that mean?" Seven inquired.
"That means he can only be stopped temporarily, until he is summoned again. When that happens, he would start attacking everyone out of control again. That was when people decided that summoners are threats, because only summoners can bring Sin back. It is always too risky to let one live."
"That's unfair! What if the summoner doesn't want to summon Sin?"
Stella gave another sad smile. "People are afraid. They're afraid to lose their lives, and even worse, the lives of their loved ones. They only hate the summoners because they wanted to protect themselves and everyone else, regardless of the summoners' true nature and intentions."
"Well, I don't hate summoners. They did nothing but good. I hate the machinas and Sin!"
Stella gave out a soft laugh. Seven was really a smart girl. Just like her brother.
She gently placed her hand on the younger one's head and brushed her short silver hair. "I know, Seven. Thank you."
Seven tilted her head to the side in curiosity. "For wha-"
Suddenly, there was a loud explosion that shook the whole ground. It shocked Seven and Stella's eyes widened as she looked around in panic. They might have stayed on that spot for too long.
"Come, we have to go." Stella pulled Seven up and they both ran out of that place. They emerged from the alley, and soon, they were engulfed by smoke from bombs and gunpowder. Both girls covered their noses with their arms and their eyes were tearing from the painful sting. They both ran blindly, guessing the path they were taking until it was not obscure anymore. They were both halted by a large metal, covering a stiff body of a man, and Stella almost stumbled backwards as soon as she ran into him.
The man turned around to take a look at what bumped him, and though his face was concealed by a metal helmet, his voice disclosed the sense of urgency in his words. "RED ALERT! RED ALERT! AND SHE HAS A CHILD IN CAPTIVE! RED ALERT!"
Stella gasped and pulled Seven behind her protectively before they both ran again.
The man in metal suit ran after her, but he was not fast enough. Passing by a group of other men with uniform similar to his, he sternly pointed at the girls' direction. "GET THEM!"
With a group of soldiers in hot pursuit of them, Stella forced her tired legs to run as fast as she could while Seven tried her best to keep up with the older one's pace. Reaching a skyway, Stella aimed to reach the other side of it before the soldiers could catch up with them. Then, halfway through the skyway, a group of five soldiers gracefully dropped from a height and blocked the girls from their way. Stella skidded to a stop, her eyes widened in panic as she held Seven back protectively. She turned around and opted to find another way to escape, but the earlier group of soldiers finally caught up with them. Out of options, Stella helplessly looked at the soldiers with pleading eyes, hoping they wouldn't even attempt to hurt them.
"Captain," One of the soldiers said over a communicator on his mouth. "We got the-"
Suddenly, a sound of a gunshot was heard.
Stella turned around and saw that same soldier fell on his knees before completely collapsing on the ground, while his companions merely watched him, their head bobbing down following his body.
What is it now? Stella asked herself in anxiety before she heard a knocking sound behind her and saw another soldier violently thrown over the skyway by a swinging figure. The culprit, a young man with a short blond hair, landed safely near Stella and faced the group of soldiers with her confidently.
"Like I said, as long as I have these babies," He wielded a pair of guns in his hands and pointed them at the soldiers. "this will be just too easy."
"Prompto!" Seven cried in delight to their savior.
Stella stood on her defense, shielding Seven behind her. She cast a protect spell on Seven before she threw another offensive spell on an approaching soldier who was about to attack them The spell came in illuminating, blood red orb that touched the unfortunate soldier, who fell unconsciously on the ground, petrified from intense pain.
Prompto, on the other hand, showered the soldiers with his bullets shooting from his dual guns hastily, one after another, his precise aim unfailing.
The two of them attacked with no hesitation, dodging the careless assaults from the enemies. However, the soldiers proved to be no match for the duo's strength. As each of them collapsed, the group weakened at their mercy.
"Retreat!" One yelled out. "Retreat!"
Prompto frowned in disappointment as he ran after the soldiers. "Oy! I'm not finished with you!"
Stella was cautiously eyeing them, wary that they might come back. She was about to turn around to take a look at Seven when she heard the child scream.
"Seven!" Stella quickly ran to her. Seven was looking above them with horror in her eyes. Stella also noticed that a big shadow was covering them and she followed Seven's gaze. There, hovering above them, was a giant airship, with missiles protruding out of it, targeting their spot.
As soon as Prompto turned around, the victorious smirk he was wearing quickly changed into shock. He ran at the two. "Run! Run away!"
Seven ran to his direction and hid herself behind a thick scrap of metal while Stella stood still facing the airship.
"Hey! I said run!" Prompto repeated to Stella. But she wouldn't move.
She won't run away anymore.
She clasped her hands together.
"Tch!" Prompto ran beside her, unsheathing his guns, once again. "If you want to stay, I guess I don't have much choice. I don't want to waste time persuading you to go, and I can't just leave you here, y'know?"
Like a true hunter, Prompto quickly scanned the ship for its weakness. Finding almost none, he started to shoot at the spaces between parts of the ship, especially the hinges that connected the wings to the body. He shot, and shot, and kept on shooting, but none of his bullets did any damage to the airship. He turned to Stella for help.
"Uh, not to be demanding, or anything, but," He shot another vain bullet to the ship. "I noticed that you weren't doing much about this." He aimed at the other wing and tried to shoot it. "Would really appreciate it if you make your move." He shot another couple of bullets. "Anytime now!"
As if a reply to his call, light began to illuminate around Stella. With the light making her even more visible in the night, it finally became evident that she was praying; besides the obvious position of her hands, her eyes were closed, and her lips were quickly moving, as if she was muttering a hurried prayer. Prompto narrowed his eyes before widening them again in surprise.
The girl he just called reached to her side and pulled a long, silver staff that she had been hiding so discreetly from everyone. How she was able to do it, only someone like her would know. She held it still at the middle and waved it in a circle before landing the bottom end on the ground.
Glowing encryptions unfamiliar to Prompto began to appear on the floor in a huge spiral form, taking shape around Stella. She then knelt down and touched the encryptions with her fingertip, prompting them to flash from the middle and spreading outwards the circle. A thin beam of light shot down from the sky, and the dark clouds started to part, leaving a space in between them. A soft, distant roar from above was heard before a fiery blue ball of light sped down to the earth. But before it landed, before it even touched the ground, a huge, dark muscular creature appeared after the blue light had vanished. It was about six-story high, donning sharp crooked horns that leaned backwards, and a pair of pale blue eyes. Its beak was sharp and pointed, and its talons long and fatal. It stood on two legs, and on its back were large, wide wings that could slice its victims mercilessly.
"Bahamut…" Prompto managed to utter in pure amazement.
Bahamut began to flap its wings and lifted itself from the ground. It then swung its wings violently downward, throwing itself high above the sky, leveling with the airship. The ship diverted its missiles from the skyway and aimed at Bahamut, but the machine was too slow against the creature. Bahamut opened its beak where a small, blue ball appeared, and in a few seconds, the ball gathered so much energy that flowed through Bahamut that it grew to become as large as the creature itself. And then, as fast as the flash of light, the ball left Bahamut's beak and charged at the airship.
While Prompto and Seven were watching the explosion in astonishment, Stella ran to them and pulled their arms as they ran away from the area. When a larger explosion erupted, the three of them were inevitably hurled a few meters from the ground.
Several minutes later, Prompto groaned before he realized that his hand was clutching his throbbing head. When he finally came to, he found himself on the ground full of huge and small rubbles, and blurry visions of two girls looking over him.
"Prompto!" a worried voice called. "Prompto!"
"Please wake up!" A younger voice followed.
Prompto only let another groan escape. "Uh… Seven?"
"Prompto!" He felt a light hug with small arms. "You're back!"
"Yeah. I think I'm back…" Prompto slowly lifted himself while he was assisted by the older of the two and sat up. When his sight became clearer, he finally recognized Stella and Seven. "Yo. You two okay?"
"Yup!" Seven replied cheerfully, while Stella quickly stood up. "No one's following us anymore."
"Well, isn't that good news, eh?" Prompto smirked and patted Seven's head. "I guess we made it."
He turned around to look at Stella, but she was already climbing down the fallen skyway. She looked up and caught his confused eyes looking back at her. She took her chance and said "Please bring her back to her brother." And with those words, she slid down to the road below and she was gone.
Prompto's eyes widened and he quickly stood up. "Hey! Wait!" He dashed to the edge of the skyway, and saw Stella running away from them. She was already too far for him to sprint after, and he couldn't leave the younger one behind, leaving him no option but to stay where he was no matter how much he wanted to go after her.
Seven soon realized what was going on and cried out for Stella to come back. When Stella finally disappeared from her sight, she stopped calling for her and looked down in defeat.
Seven inhaled deeply and held her breath, repressing a tear from dropping. "… I wish you didn't do that."
Prompto exhaled the breath he had been holding. "I… didn't know she is the summoner." After a moment had passed, he sighed loudly in frustration and sat down in thwart. "Ah, he's gonna kill me."
A/N: I hope this is a good start.